During cataract surgery clouded natural lens is removed and this is then replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL) which has been selected for you to give you the best planned visual outcome. There are a number of choices that people undergoing this treatment can choose from.
Monofocal lenses, as the name suggests, have one focal point and this can be set for either distance or near. People more commonly choose to see clearer in the distance and have reading glasses for near work, although some people used to seeing near, may choose to remain near sighted and wear glasses for distance. On occasion people choose to have one eye set for each (mono vision).
Some eyes are more “rugby ball” (astigmatic) shaped than “football” (spherical) shaped, and so a standard “football” shaped lens will not fully address this. “Rugby ball” shaped implants, called toric Intraocular Lenses (IOLs), can be used in certain individuals as one method of correction, and specially placed incisions (called limbal relaxing incisions or LRIs) can be used as another alternative. Various non-surgical options or separate operations can also be successfully used.
Individuals who are keen to see both distance and near without glasses may consider multifocal lenses which, as the name suggests, have more than one focal point. In these implants some of the light coming in is used for near vision rather distance. Whilst this can work very well some patients can experience visual problems with this approach.
On occasion blending toric and multifocal may be required these lenses are called toric multifocals.
During the visit, measurements we undertake of the eye, along with discussions of the risks, benefits, costs and challenges, with the different approaches, as applied to you, will help the decision making process as to which approach is most suitable in your case.